Opinion

NFL considering 15-yard penalty for anti-gay, racial slurs

pink-penalty
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The National Football League is considering a new penalty, and it’s a biggie — 15 yards for a first infraction, and getting thrown out of the game for a second. So what’s the offense? — using racial or homophobic slurs.

John Wooten, who heads the Fritz Pollard Alliance, said he believes the league’s competition committee will make the rule official next month. Fritz Pollard monitors diversity in the NFL, according to ESPN.

“I will be totally shocked if the competition committee does not uphold us on what we’re trying to do,” Wooten said, according to CBSSports.com. “We want this word to be policed from the parking lot to the equipment room to the locker room. Secretaries, PR people, whoever, we want it eliminated completely and want it policed everywhere.”

This was all confirmed by Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, who sits on the NFL competition committee.

“We did talk about it, I’m sure that you saw near the end of the year that Fritz Pollard [Alliance] came out very strong with the message that the league needs to do something about the language on the field,” Newsome said. “So we did discuss over the last three days.”

The competition committee will meet in Florida next week, where the Ravens manager believes the proposal will come up again and perhaps be acted upon.

“We will now go down to Naples starting next Friday and spend more time talking about it,” Newsome said. “We had some officials in our meeting that actually out there on the field and hear the language. We’ll be able to put all that together and if there’s a need to we will present something to our owners in Orlando.

“With any rule that we put into play we have to look at it from A to Z and find out any unintended consequences as much as the consequences. So, as it was stated in our meeting, there are mics everywhere, so if something has been said it’s probably going to be captured somewhere. So there will be an opportunity to get it verified if we have to.”

A 15-yard penalty for calling an opposing team member a sissy? I can’t give much consideration to that at the moment — I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that the NFL has a diversity monitor.

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